Snow, sleet, ice... the weather this time of year calls for a heavy-duty defroster: hot cocktails. You can warm up with one of these toasty drinks at your favorite bar, but you also can make them easily at home.
Mastering the classics is always a good place to start, and it’s no different with hot concoctions. The timeless Hot Toddy (basically a mix of whiskey, sugar, boiling water, and lemon peel) is a useful template. You can personalize the recipe with a few simple changes, say by replacing the sugar with an infused simple syrup or by adding some citrus juice. A good example of this is the Spiced Toddy that I created recently for the W New York Downtown, which calls for both rye whiskey and spiced rum, plus baking spices and lemon juice.
Another cold-weather favorite is mulled wine, which, for the record, is not just winter sangria. It’s best made with a combination of spices, red wine, berries, sherry, and stone fruits. The flavors come alive when the ingredients are mixed together and then warmed, releasing an enticing aroma.
Since this is shaping up to be the year for punch, it would be remiss of me not to include a festive communal cocktail recipe that you can make for your friends and family. Try Xavier Padovani’s tasty Hendrick’s Hot Gin Punch (pictured above), which in addition to gin calls for spices, Madeira, honey, and fruit. And best of all, it serves 12. Happy holidays!
This story was orginally published at Some Like it Hot. For more stories like this, subscribe to Liquor.com for the best in all things cocktails and spirits.